11 February 1962

Highway of the Sun

Sante Rudatis

Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi, Stefania Megale, Giuseppe Franchellucci

Instead of spending Sunday at home with the family, one can opt for a nice drive on the motorway to admire the newly built jewels of engineering and perhaps go for a meal at the autogrill. Motorway tourism, preferably with a camera, is a novelty of the times. So, in the middle of winter, on 11 February 1962, Sante Rudatis with his family, friends and 8mm camera took a trip out of town on the Autostrada del Sole on the Bologna-Florence stretch (90 km with no less than 67 bridges and 24 tunnels), inaugurated just over a year earlier and costing a lot, not only in terms of money but also in terms of human lives (15 deaths) and work accidents (around 3,000). After a long stop to admire the gigantic Rioveggio viaduct (320 metres on 14 arches) over the Sambro, having driven through the Campolungo di Monzuno tunnel among the few cars on the festive day, we arrived at the 'Mottagrill'. Commissioned by panettone industrialist Angelo Motta, it is extolled as 'the biggest in Italy and the biggest in Europe'. Italy is no longer a poor Country.